Whittaker vs Adesanya
Photo: Zuffa LLC

Robert Whittaker is in the mood to get a rematch with UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya, but it seems like he will have to wait for his turn.

In an interview with The Mac Life, Israel Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman explained why his fighter will fight Marvin Vettori and not Whittaker.

This is because the coach has revealed that Whittaker was offered the Adesanya fight soon after he beat Kelvin Gastelum, but he turned it down.

The Reaper turned the fight on a three-week notice, citing his torn ligaments in his hands. The fighter chose to recover after the Gastelum fight instead.

Therefore, as Bareman puts it, now Whitter has to “sit at the back of the list again” if he wants a title shot.

The last showdown between Adesanya and Whitter resulted in the Stylebender’s favour.

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As quoted by Bloody Elbow, the coach said: “For me, it’s a very strange decision. If you give us the situation, or even if you take the last fight, we were going in with multiple injuries. There are certain things you just don’t turn down, don’t matter what.”

“Don’t matter how many families you got waiting for you. Not trying to be insensitive towards his family and all of that, but there are certain things in this sport, you reach a certain pinnacle that you’ve been reaching and you don’t give them away.”

The first time Whitter actually stressed for a rematch was after Adesanya faced his first loss of the UFC career against Jan Blachowicz in a bid to become a double champ.

Adesanya’s coach feels that Whitter was mistaken that he was the one who calls the shots.

Eugene remarked: “When it comes to the title, the decision gets made for you. You make whatever sacrifices are necessary. But Robert, he makes his own decisions, he was given the opportunity as I understand by the UFC, and I guess it’s gone to Vettori.”

The tough mentality at the Adesanya camp

Eugene Bareman did not mince his words to explain why Vettori will be in the spotlight at UFC 263 instead of the Reaper.

He was certain that Adesanya would have grabbed the title opportunity if he was in Whittaker’s place.

“If the shoes on the other foot, we’re fighting through — [Adesanya’s] arm’s falling off, all my guys, their arms’ are falling half off, we’re still fighting,” Eugene stressed as he went in on the UFC fighter.

Robert Whittaker’s stance

Robert Whitter has been extremely willing to avenge his 2019 loss against the middleweight champion, especially after thumping Gastelum.

In April, he told ESPN that he has a few tricks up his sleeve for  Adesanya in their next potential meet-up in the octagon.

He said: “It’s very hard to adapt the plans without [Blachowicz’s] power. But we’ve got to wait and see how Izzy comes back down to middleweight; I’ve got a couple of things up my sleeve I’m looking to try next time we cross paths, so we’ll wait and see.”


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